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Ask the Spider: Ask The Spider #34
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Q: Which bowler has taken the most wickets in a Test match without conceding a run?

A :Australia's Richie Benaud had figures of 3.4 overs, 0 runs, 3 wickets against India at Delhi in 1959/60.
Q: Has there ever been an occasion in first-class cricket where there have been 10 different fielders to take a catch in a single innings?

A: Surprisingly yes, this has happened once only. In Northamptonshire's first-innings in their County Championship game against Leicestershire in 1967, only Jack Birkenshaw failed to take a catch (though he did manage three wickets with his bowling).
Q: How many bowlers have dismissed all eleven batsmen in a Test?

A: This has been achieved on six occasions - Jim Laker for England vs. Australia in 1956, Srinivas Venkataraghavan for India vs. New Zealand in 1965, Geoff Dymock for Australia vs. India in 1979/80, Abdul Qadir for Pakistan vs. England in 1987, Waqar Younis for Pakistan vs. New Zealand in 1990/91 and Muttiah Muralitharan for Sri Lanka vs. South Africa in 2000/01.
Q: I read somewhere that almost all of Pakistan's original superstar seam-bowler Fazal Mahmood's career was played in the subcontinent. How true is this?

A: Fazal did indeed play much of his career at home and in India, though "almost all" is perhaps a slight exaggeration. Between 1952/53 and 1962 he made it onto the park 34 times out of a possible 42. This comprised 11 games out of a possible 15 in England and West Indies (Pakistan never toured Australia or New Zealand during his career). But two-thirds of a career in one continent (even when this continent comprises your home country) does seem a fairly large portion. If conditions conformed to the subcontinental stereotype throughout, it makes Fazal's record all the more impressive.
Q: Who won the first toss, bowled the first ball, scored the first run and took the first wicket in Tests in England?

A: In the great match of 1880, England captain Lord Harris elected to bat first upon winning the toss. Australia's first over was sent down by HF "Harry" Boyle. It is unclear who scored the first run, as surviving scorecards do not show such detail, though there is no doubt over the surname: England's openers were brothers EM and WG Grace. EM was dismissed with the brothers just short of recording a century stand, by all-rounder Alec Bannerman.
Q: What is the success rate for captains who have elected to field first in ODIs? If serious games only are considered.

A: Counting only Australia, England, West Indies, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe (up to the 2003 World Cup) and South Africa, there have been 2283 ODIs so far played, of which just over half (1145) has seen the toss-winning captain elect to chase. 42 of these have had no results - of the remaining 1103, there have been 572 victories, 523 defeats and 8 ties. If one is to count a tie as a failure, this makes the success-rate 51.85; if a tie is counted as a success, it is 52.58%.
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